Risky Bodies and Techno-Intimacy

Reflections on Sexuality, Media, Science, Finance

Geeta Patel

  • Published: August 2017
  • Subject Listing: Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Science and Technology Studies; Asian Studies / South Asia
  • Bibliographic information: 385 pp., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: N / A In South Asia
  • Series: Feminist Technosciences
  • Contents

Risky Bodies and Techno-Intimacy traverses disparate and uncommon routes to explore how people grapple with the radical uncertainties of their lives. In this edgy, evocative journey through myriad interleaved engagements-including the political economies of cinema; the emergent shapes taken by insurance, debt, and mortgages; gender and sexuality; and domesticity and nationalism-Geeta Patel demonstrates how science and technology ground our everyday intimacies. The result is a deeply poetic and philosophical exploration of the intricacies of techno-intimacy, revealing a complicated and absorbing narrative that challenges assumptions underlying our daily living.
Geeta Patel is associate professor of both Middle Eastern and South Asian languages and cultures and of women, gender, and sexuality at the University of Virginia. She is author of Lyrical Movements, Historical Hauntings: Gender, Colonialism, and Desire in Miraji's Urdu Poetry.

"Patel subjects our theoretical habits to poetic, generous scrutiny, initiating a conversation bridging the arts, sciences, and humanities. Interweaving histories of science, technology, time, economics, literature, and the future, this book offers chilling visions of who will live, to what forces we will assign sovereignty, and how we will die."
-Kavita Philip, author of Civilizing Natures: Race, Resources and Modernity in Colonial South India

"Patel discovers new avenues into the ordinary, while offering ingenious methods of aggregating heterogeneous elements under the dark clouds of risk and emergence."
-David L. Eng, author of The Feeling of Kinship: Queer Liberalism and the Racialization of Intimacy

"Geeta Patel is a deep thinker. In Risky Bodies she takes us with her on a rich and complex journey to show us how techno-intimacies work. Patel navigates with technology, philosophy, gender, finance and more, creating conversations that will continue for some time."
-Deborah G. Johnson, University of Virginia

"A work of intricacy and importance. Patel writes poetically, erotically about the risk that inhabits our everyday through the mundane and the fantastical - behaviour and thought of habit, montages and transitions of lived and imagined technae, mobile materialities, technologies of the flesh, political economies, capitalised cultures. It weaves a potent, perilous tale of adventure and minute discoveries, countermonumental', contingent, sexy. Seductive and absorbing."
-Brinda Bose, Jawaharlal Nehru University

"In stunning analyses of a range of archival genres, from the gendered origins of financial forms, to cinematic texts and the aesthetics of temporality and history in South Asia, Patel provides moving meditations on the critical impasses that haunt our intellectual lives."
-Anjali Arondekar, University of California, Santa Cruz

Introduction Paths to Inquiry, Pathways for the Inquisitive
1. Techno-homo: Translating Mayonnaise at Home
2. Heisenberg's Bodies: Ismat Chughtai in a Marital Fix, or Homely Housewives Run Amok
3. Firing Time: Techno-Intimacies of the Cinematic
4. Time's Travails
5. Memorial Figurations: Temporality, Cinematicrealism, and Finance
6. Risky Bodies: Life-Finance, Labour and Domesticated Technologies of Intimacy
Prelude after the Fact: Photographic Techno-Intimacies and the Question Of Method